Harvard Moves to Hire an Antiracist Librarian

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If you’re a librarian, you might not make much money.

But if you’re an antiracist librarian, a big bathtub of Benjamins may await.

For those wanting to really clean up courtesy of some colossal cash, check out Harvard’s recent job listing.

As reported by The College Fix, the elite school’s put out the APB for an “Associate University Librarian for Antiracism.”

The annual salary grade listed: 061.

Translation: $133,300 to $240,300.

That’s right — if you can snag the gig, you’ll make as much per year as Jeff Bezos rakes in every 1.6 seconds.


Per the posting, the ideal candidate will have at least a decade of experience under their belt. According to university officials, they’ll also need demonstrably solid data analysis, administrative, and leadership skills.

The Fix was curious, but that didn’t get ’em very far:

The College Fix reached out to Harvard University media relations to ask what inspired the position’s creation and how an antiracism librarian differs from a regular librarian.

A media relations spokesperson for Harvard Library responded that “we’re not commenting beyond the information listed in the job posting,” but added once the person is hired they will release more information.

As noted by TCF, the whole antiracism library thing is quite the craze — an online search for “antiracism library librarian” coughs up 1,000+ hits. Among those: libraries boasting antiracism statements, reading lists, and programs.

Even so:

[T]he results indicate that Harvard’s position might be the first academic library job with the word “antiracism” in its title.

Harvard’s wanted ad was published on November 5th, and in September, the Ivy League leviathan announced a new “Library Anti-Racism Team.”

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Amid that big reveal, the school trumpeted its bonafides:

This has been a long-standing priority, and the current movement for racial justice in response to violence against Black Americans has underscored the urgency of this work.

Here’s more from the Fix:

The team consists of two people, archivist Jehan Sinclair as Harvard Library’s first anti-black racism librarian/archivist and Lori Cawthorne as senior human resources diversity consultant and Title IX coordinator, officials stated.

Sinclair’s role consists of engaging “subject experts across the University to identify and share anti-Black racism resources across all types of Harvard Library collections, especially those that can be shared within and beyond Harvard.”

And what, exactly, is “antiracism”? The opposite of racism?

Nope; it’s much, much more.

CNN with the crash course:

Being anti-racist means more than ridding yourself of racist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. It means you’re also actively fighting that reprehensible trinity as it manifests in your life on a daily basis.

Some white people know that to become anti-racist, they must start to listen and brush up on the history of racism in their countries.

Some people are describing obviously racist behavior as the the tip of the iceberg — calling people racist names or threatening people on the basis of race.

Then there’s the part of the iceberg that’s not easily visible to people if they’re not looking. This includes a range of subtle but insidious attitudes, behaviors and policies.

Among these are microaggressions. They are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, [psychologist Beverly Tatum] said.

Microaggressions can be intentional, unintentional or even well-meaning, but they communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial assumptions to the receiver. And they have an insidious effect on a black person’s psyche and continuing racist assumptions.

The outlet provides three such microaggressions:

  • “Don’t blame me. I never owned slaves.”
  • “All lives matter.”
  • “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.”

The new classified explains the librarian will “identify and pursue opportunities for the library to support education, reconciliation, restoration, and cultural transformation with regard to bias and discrimination against any group or people, including racism in all its forms.”

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That’s all well and good, but it begs the question: Do any young people still use libraries?

Harvard might’ve done better to create an antiracist app.

Nevertheless, the academic landscape is changing.

So is the racial one.

And it’s quite the radical renovation indeed — maybe even as far-out as a quarter-of-a-million-dollar school library job.



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